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"Puppet" allegation as Moore hands over to new Chief Minister

Wednesday 31 January 2024

"Puppet" allegation as Moore hands over to new Chief Minister

Wednesday 31 January 2024


While Deputy Kristina Moore may have been courteous in a letter handing over to the island's new leader, comments made outside the States Chamber following yesterday's Ministerial elections were rather more pointed.

In a handover letter sent to her successor Lyndon Farnham yesterday, Kristina Moore urged a “smooth transition” between the two ministerial teams and said she wished him and the "new Government every success in delivering for Jersey".

She also said that she would be happy to make herself available to discuss policy or provide assistance on any queries the new Chief may have.

But frustrations over the change were clear as she spoke outside the States Chamber yesterday.

She lamented what she described as a "personal process" which she claimed had been fuelled by one individual who is a very difficult person to work with and now appears to be holding the strings for what appears to be a puppet Chief Minister."

"Some element of continuity"

Following the selection of 11 ministerial roles yesterday, Deputy Farnham officially became the Island's new leader, and business as usual starting with a meeting of the new team last night.

Four of her Deputy Moore's team remain in the Council of Ministers, albeit several switching roles – Deputy Carolyn Labey remains International Development Minister, Deputy Kirsten Morel remains Economic Development Minister, Deputy Elaine Millar becomes Treasury Minister (with a transition from Social Security Minister), and Deputy Ian Gorst becomes External Relations Minister (with a transition from Treasury Minister).

The rest of the Council is made up of Reform members and backbenchers.

In her handover letter, which was sent via email then shared with the media via the Government's Press Office, Deputy Moore said that she welcomed "some element of continuity" in the Council of Ministers and that there was a "significant amount of ongoing work which you and your colleagues will hopefully continue".

"Having listened to a number of speeches from nominated Ministers today, I am re-assured that this appears to be the case," she added.

Project continuation hopes

But in her letter, Deputy Moore also encouraged the new Chief Ministers to "set out" some of the decisions on which work will be brought to "an end".

She also focused on "significant recruitment issues in health" and the various roles she had filled during her time – and recruitment struggles elsewhere in the Island's economy.

She said: "I urge you to support the process that has begun in the Health Department, and to ensure that the current path to improved health services and better value for money for taxpayers continues."

She added one of her "proudest achievements" was introducing policies to ease the cost-of-living crisis, including by increasing the minimum wage from £9.23 to £11.64.

Deputy Moore said she hoped other policies such as developing an offshore wind farm and establishing a PFOS scientific panel would be "maintained despite the change of government".

The wind farm, she said, was "absolutely central to Jersey's future energy security" and said it was "crucial that momentum is not lost".

CM_Kristina_Moore.jpg

Pictured: Deputy Moore was Chief Minister for 18 months before being ousted in a vote of no confidence two weeks ago.

"A very interesting mix"

Speaking to Express outside the Chamber yesterday, she admitted that the new Council of Ministers was "a very interesting mix".

She added: "It will be very interesting to see how long they remain united as they have such disparate views that do not really seem to be complementary.

"It seems largely that they really want to carry on the good work that the government was doing, and they don't really have any ideas or new policies to add. It's purely been a personal process, fuelled by one individual who is a very difficult person to work with and now appears to be holding the strings for what appears to be a puppet Chief Minister."

She also said she felt that Deputy Binet was not "across his brief" in Health, which she said was "shameful".

What will Deputy Moore do next?

As she moves out of the island's top political role, Deputy Moore also said she "looked forward" to having a role in Scrutiny.

During Chief Minister John Le Fondré's tenure, Deputy Moore was Chief Scrutineer. During her own term, that role was taken up by Reform Jersey leader Deputy Sam Mézec, who is now Housing Minister in the newly appointed Council of Ministers team.

Deputy Moore commented: "It's shameful that last year there were only four Scrutiny reports published, and that shows that they weren't working properly."

She further said she intended to join the Planning Committee.

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